Quick pickles are ready in just a few hours rather than the few weeks it takes for traditional pickles. They are delightful! They're crisp and flavorful and make a wonderful addition to any entree.
I really enjoy making homemade pickles. They are so wonderfully crispy and flavorful, and it's fun to change things up and use different vegetables, vinegars, and seasonings.
I almost always have a jar of these refrigerator pickles in the fridge. I especially enjoy them with various cold leftover meats for my lunch.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these quick pickles. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Vegetables: I like to use green beans, cauliflower florets, and mini peppers. But you can use any vegetables you like. Cucumbers are an obvious choice, and carrots or radishes are good too.
Vinegar: I like to use white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. I don't recommend using distilled white vinegar in this recipe. It's highly acidic and won't taste as good, in my opinion.
Garlic cloves: I use a couple of whole peeled garlic cloves to add flavor to the brining solution.
Sweetener: This is optional, but it helps balance out the acidity of the vinegar. You can use any granulated sweetener or the equivalent in stevia. The nutrition info below assumes that a non-nutritive sweetener was used.
Salt and spices: I use kosher salt, whole peppercorns, whole coriander, and a dry bay leaf.
Traditional pickling is an elaborate process that I have no patience for, but making these homemade quick pickles is easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Your first step is to prep the vegetables and then pack them tightly into a glass jar, leaving ½-inch of space at the top.
Next, prepare the brine: Combine water, vinegar, garlic, sweetener, salt and spices in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sweetener and the salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
Allow the mixture to slightly cool, then pour it over the vegetables.
Cover the jar tightly, allow it to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it for at least six hours and preferably overnight.
Frequently asked questions
The combination presented in the recipe card below is the one I use most often, but you can use any sturdy vegetable.
I often use green beans, cauliflower florets, and mini peppers. But other vegetables that should work well are thick spears of asparagus, cucumbers, and radishes.
While adding a sweetener is optional, I do recommend it. It balances out the acidity of the vinegar. But it's really a matter of personal preference. My husband actually prefers a version without any sweetener.
As for what sweetener to use, I like to use a sugar-free granulated sweetener. You can use white sugar if you'd like or even stevia.
Being homemade, they don't have any preservatives. So they won't last as long as store-bought pickles. I suggest keeping them for no longer than a week in a sealed jar in the refrigerator.
Variations and substitutions
The recipe listed below is just a rough guideline. It's really fun to change things up! For example, you can change up the vinegar you use. I like to use champagne vinegar. White wine vinegar is also good. However, I don't recommend using distilled white vinegar. It's too acidic.
You can also make these pickles spicy by adding a couple of hot chili peppers to the pickling jar. Just make sure no one actually tries to eat them!
I most often serve these pickles with hamburgers or with grilled chicken breasts. I also like to make myself a lunch plate with cold cuts, cheese, hard-boiled eggs (or deviled eggs), and quick pickles. It's actually one of my favorite lunches.
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Easy Homemade Quick Pickles
- ¾ cup cauliflower florets (use small florets)
- ¾ cup green beans trimmed and cut in half
- ¾ cup mini peppers I leave them whole; you can cut them in half
For the brine:
- 1 ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sweetener
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- Place the vegetables in a 20-ounce glass jar or in a lidded glass storage container. Make sure it's made from a thick glass that can withstand near-boiling water. Pack the vegetables in tightly, leaving ½-inch of space at the top.
- Prepare the brine: Combine the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the salt and the sweetener. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
- Allow the brine to slightly cool, then pour it over the vegetables. It helps to pour the brine from the saucepan into a measuring cup, then use the spout to pour it into the jar. The brine should cover the vegetables completely. If it doesn't, you'll need to make more.
- Close the jar tightly, cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes), then refrigerate the pickles for 6 hours or overnight.